Skip to comments.The wages of socialism-mass murder
Posted on 05/05/2013 12:20:52 PM PDT by CharlesMartelsGhost
Last year, my friend Bruce Kesler, who blogs at a wonderful conservative group blog called Maggies Farm, directed me to a book called Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin. What makes this book different from other books about that era is that it doesnt just examine the murderous years of WWII. Instead, it also examines the carnage Hitler and Stalin wrought during the 1930s, in the lead-up to WWII. It is an absolutely devastating book, describing the unimaginable scale of death that two socialist leaders Stalin and Hitler visited on the region between their two countries.
Although Hitler industrialized the killing machine, it was Stalin who created the model when he decided to destroy the Ukrainian kulaks (independent small farmers) who were standing in the way of his vision of a collectivized agrarian nation. To achieve his goal, he brutally starved these farmers to death 20 to 30 million of them. Reading author Timothy Snyders description of their suffering is horrible but its something that we need to read in order that we never forget how fundamentally evil socialism is. The ones who really should read this book, of course, are American socialists, but sadly, theyre unlikely to do so.
If you can get a socialist to read Bloodlands, but he has still failed to learn his lesson about what happens when government which lacks a conscience decides that its job isnt to enable individual freedom but is, instead, to control all people without regard to individualism, have him read Yang Jishengs book, Tombstone: The Great Chinese Famine, 1958-1962. Hard as it is to believe, Stalin and Hitler were just the warm-ups for Mao, the Chinese leader who, inspired by Stalin, may well hold the record for being the biggest mass murderer in human history.
Arthur Waldron, writing at The New Criterion reviews Jishengs book and his review shows that this is a must-read book for anyone who wants to understand why Leftists are fools when theyre frightened of corporations and, instead, want desperately to place control over every aspect of their lives in government hands. It is impossible for a corporation to wreak the kind of havoc that socialist governments have visited upon their people. The estimates for Maos killing fields during his man-created disaster range from 36 to 70 million. (The higher number includes the babies that never got born to a starving population.) As happened with Stalins socialist-created famine, people in dire straits did unspeakable things to survive, including cannibalism. As Snyder said in his book (and I paraphrase), an orphan was a child whose parents died before they ate him.
When word of the Chinese famine got out, Mao blamed unspecified natural causes, and a credulous, Left-leaning, Walter Duranty-esque media dutifully passed this on. It was a lie, of course. There was nothing unusual about Chinese weather patterns from 1958-1962. Moreover, even as the people died in the millions, food filled warehouses and party officials dined in style.
Jisheng knows firsthand about the famine: alerted that something was wrong in his native rural area, he left the city with a rice ration, but arrived too late to save his father who, though alive, had become too starved to do anything but die. When this happened, Jisheng accepted the party line and didnt question the thousands of deaths in his area of rural China. It was only during the mid-1960s Cultural Revolution, which saw many millions more die, that Jisheng began to realize that the problem wasnt nature or farmers or people who needed re-education it was Maos socialist policies, all of which officials throughout China unquestioningly accepted, either because they were true believers, because they were mindless party drones, or because they were afraid.
Although Jishengs book isnt the first to tell about the famine, Waldron thinks its the best:
Tombstone, however, is without a doubt the definitive accountfor now and probably for a long time. The Chinese original is two volumes and banned in that country. In Hong Kong it has sold out eight printings. The English version has been most skillfully shortened, edited, and rearranged by a team of Western and Chinese scholars, with an eye to making what is very much a massive compilation of statistics and reportage into a volume more accessible to the English-speaking reader.
This is a book whose importance must be compared with Aleksandr Solzhenitsyns Gulag Archipelago (1973) in that it documents beyond the possibility of refutation ghastly horrors that were first rumored, then denied, then written about a bit, but only with Solzhenitsyn and Yang were so thoroughly documented and analyzed as to place them beyond question.
You should read Waldrons review and then, if you have the heart and stomach for it, read Jishengs book.
When socialism fails, as it invariably does, the American Left equally invariably claims that the failure isnt because the plan was fundamentally flawed. To socialists, the problem is always implementation and the culprit is always the Republicans who made it impossible for the Democrats fully to implement their plans. Books such as Bloodlands and Tombstone remind us precisely what happens when the Left has unfettered access to a helpless population. Every person in America should be thanking God for Republican foot-dragging, and should hope that they drag their feet ever harder and faster.
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Who was to blame? The temptation, of course, is to say that it was Mao. Yang explicitly repudiates this conclusion. Quoting Friedrich Hayek and others, Yang argues that, ultimately, the totalitarian Communist system, without checks or balances or reliable information, was at fault. In a more open system, the famine would have become known immediately. Leaders would have been in place to rein in and modify mistaken policies. China in those days, however, lacked all such mechanisms. Even his closest colleagues trembled lest they anger Mao. Those who did paid for it.
Yang ends on an equivocal note. He is one hundred percent in favor of democracy, freedom of information, and responsibility. But he questions how soon these can come to China, for the transformation to them from the present system is an enormous and daunting task that flies in the face of long traditions of authoritarianism, hierarchy, and deference.
Tombstone is a challenging book. In effect it is a comprehensive legal brief that seeks to prove its case in every detail with masses of evidence that readers not already familiar with Chinese history of the time may sometimes find difficult to follow. I would urge them to look initially at the analytical chapters, then the documentation: Indeed, perhaps read the first and then the concluding chapter to start, in order to feel the full force not only of Yangs evidence but also the strength of his exacting intellectual analysis. However you read it, though, Tombstone is one of the most important booksnot just China booksof our time.
1 Tombstone: The Great Chinese Famine 19581962; by Yang Jisheng; Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 656 pages, $35.
Also recommend reading “The Nked Socialist” by Paul B. Skousen
Yang and Snyder’s book are better than the Black Book of Communism, in that they are more specific. analytical and have no liberal European pretense/bias, which in my opinion, Stephane Courtious has.
The Socialist left promises equality and security, and they deliver slavery and genocide.
Exactly and they scurry for propaganda and the shadows when confronted with the truth.
What value would there be in that? American Socialists also tend to believe that the country's population needs to be reduced drastically and quickly. What better way than starving American Socialists' designated Kulaks?
There is equality and a certain security in slavery, for the slaves, and that is the sort of equality advocated by socialists. Those who operate the society obviously must have sufficient assets to allow them to comfortably build Utopia while the rest of the population shares equally in the declining remainder.
Weather Underground wanted to kill 25 million people
Technically, the Weathermen wanted to kill 1/6 of the US population: the number of people they thought would not abandon liberty.
Great post. Thanks.
There fixed it for ya.
The Socialist advocates the false perception that the proletariat will receive the income that the prole thinks he needs, and work the hours he thinks he should, but, surprise, the prole is NOT the Commissar that makes those decisions.
The prole then graduates from useful idiocy to useless idiocy, the critical step down with Socialism.
“...To socialists, the problem is always implementation and the culprit is always the Republicans who made it impossible for the Democrats fully to implement their plans.”
We are already seeing this with Obamacare.
Note that this was not Stalin sending this memo, but Lenin himself...
“Comrades! The kulak uprising in your five districts must be crushed without pity ... You must make example of these people. (1) Hang (I mean hang publicly, so that people see it) at least 100 kulaks, rich bastards, and known bloodsuckers. (2) Publish their names. (3) Seize all their grain. (4) Single out the hostages per my instructions in yesterday’s telegram. Do all this so that for miles around people see it all, understand it, tremble, and tell themselves that we are killing the bloodthirsty kulaks and that we will continue to do so ...
P.S. Find tougher people.”
Just remember the people working the Nazi death camps were “just regular folks” like your next door neighbor and would plead later that if they didn't do it, it would be done to them.
I have a neighbor that would gladly work in camp as long as it was exterminating non liberals.
You dilute the phenomenon. Slavery is not merely an accident of socialists. It is intended by socialists. They call it equality but their definition of equality is stasis, lack of freedom, everyone doing the same things. It is intended to result in a system wherein everything not required id forbidden. Otherwise there is no equality.
Besides Rome, this Musta been where EPA regional administrator Al Armendariz learned to ‘govern’.
Also The Forsaken by Tzouliadis, about American dupes who went to Russia for work in the Depression. A very bad move, for them and especially their families.
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